ORLANDO, Fla. (April 7, 2020) – Florida Blue, the state’s leading health insurer, is contributing 300,000 meals to assist Central Floridians struggling due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is part of a $2 million initial investment Florida Blue is making to address urgent health and safety needs across the state as a result of the crisis.
“Florida Blue is collaborating with leaders and organizations across Central Florida to address critical needs facing our neighbors. Second Harvest Food Bank is an essential lifeline to tens of thousands in our community who suddenly find themselves out of work due to the health crisis,” said Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue’s Central Florida market president.
“The economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic is a great hardship in our community, and it will take many months to put it all back together,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “In these times, partners like Florida Blue have stepped up to help us provide more healthy food for people who are trying to get their lives back on track.”.
In the past week, Second Harvest Food Bank has experienced a 90 percent increase in the use of its online food finder tool, and its food distributions have doubled to 190,000 meals a day to support seniors, families and children in six Central Florida counties.
Free Bilingual Emotional Support Helpline
In addition to its $2 million investment in critical health and safety needs across the state, Florida Blue partnered with New Direction Behavioral Health to open a free, bilingual emotional support helpline providing 24-hour access to specially trained behavioral health counselors. Floridians can call 833-848-1762 for support in managing feelings of stress, anxiety, grief or fear related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Counselors cannot provide information on COVID-19 testing or treatment.
Assistance with Loss or Affording Health Insurance
Florida Blue is also aiding those who lost access to health insurance through their employer or are having trouble paying for their current Florida Blue policies with experts who can explain a variety of options available to help individuals and families remain covered.
Local Florida Blue Center’s nurses, social workers and service and sales specialists are providing personalized support virtually and can fully explain available options. Individuals can be connected to their local Center by calling 877-352-5830. They can also review options with their local Florida Blue agent or by calling 855-714-8894.
About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for more than 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. In total, Florida Blue and its affiliated companies serve 27 million people in 35 states. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.